An American trade pact with Britain is doomed if the latter’s withdrawal from the EU undermines the Northern Ireland peace accord, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Wednesday.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland,” Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said in a statement.
“If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress.”
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought the decades-old Northern Ireland conflict to an end. But how to handle Northern Ireland has emerged as a core issue for Brexit negotiators.
Because Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, shares a border with Ireland, a part of the EU, critics have warned that Brexit might require reimposing a hard border on the island — essentially upending the agreement that has kept peace in Northern Ireland for the past two decades.
Goods and people freely cross the border, as both countries are currently members of the EU.
The withdrawal agreement negotiated last year between London and Brussels contains a “backstop” plan to maintain this situation whatever happens with Brexit.
However, British MPs have rejected it three times and new Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns the backstop must go or Britain will leave the EU on October 31 without any deal.
Pelosi, a master legislator, strongly signalled that Republicans would join her Democrats in opposing a trade pact if Brexit undermines the peace deal.
“The peace of the Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be fiercely defended on a bicameral and bipartisan basis in the United States Congress,” she said.
The Republican co-chair of the Friends of Ireland group in the US Congress, Pete King, reportedly said jeopardizing the open border was a “needless provocation” over which his party would have no hesitation defying Trump.
Those in Congress with a strong belief in Northern Ireland and the Good Friday agreement “would certainly be willing to go against the president,” King told The Guardian.
On Monday US National Security Advisor John Bolton, a hawkish Trump aide, said Washington wanted to “move very quickly” on the trade pact after Britain exits the EU.
How Michael Bloomberg made life worse for the poor in New York
Death catches us the way we live.
So it was last week in a lower Manhattan subway station that serves the financial district when Shamari Anderson, a homeless 2-year old boy, was struck and killed by an uptown 2 train during the evening holiday rush.
This article first appeared on Salon
According to press accounts, his 20-year-old mother was juggling bags from the Dollar Store when she put her son down to fix his clothes. In an instant, the high energy toddler escaped her grasp and was struck by the subway.
New Jersey Republicans not interested in party-jumping Jeff Van Drew as their candidate in 2020: report
According to a report in Politico, Democratic lawmaker Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) is not being welcomed with open arms by Republicans in his district after word got out that he is planning on switching parties following lobbying from President Donald Trump.
With polling in his district showing he was facing an uphill climb for re-election the Democrat, who is considered fairly conservative and has opposed the impeachment of Trump, is expected to announce the switch soon with reports stating he has already informed his staffers of the imminent move.
WATCH: Town hall crowd explodes into applause as New Jersey lawmaker announces he will vote for Trump impeachment
On Sunday morning CNN aired a clip of Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) announcing before a town hall crowd on Saturday that he will vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump -- causing some of the audience members to explode into applause over his decision.
In the clip, the lawmaker explains, "Based on the evidence I have seen in the depositions, the hearings and the documents I've seen, I believe on the two counts of impeachment that the vote that has been put before us, that the vote should be yes, and I will be voting yes."
With that, the crowd burst into cheers with some leaping from their seats.